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First PS3 Jailbreaker Arrested In South Africa 119

Posted by timothy
from the how-quaintly-soviet-of-them dept.
GusGous writes "South African newspaper Beeld reports that the first person known to be arrested for jailbreaking the Playstation 3 was arrested in Parktown, Johannesburg today. This raid was conducted by the South African Police Service's Commercial Crime Unit, after receiving criminal complaints from the South African Federation Against Copyright Theft (SAFACT). Members of the police were assisted by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) Computer Forensics Lab. The police confiscated goods of around R100 000 (14000 USD)." See also this story in Afrikaans; Google translation.
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First PS3 Jailbreaker Arrested In South Africa

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  • PS3 jailbreaking (Score:5, Informative)

    by zget (2395308) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @11:28PM (#36993686)
    Ah, such an over sensationalist title and summary again. It makes it sound like the person was arrested for merely jailbreaking PS3. He was a Pakistani man who was copying and selling those copied games and jailbreaking devices.

    Various state of the art computers, circumvention software packages, jailbreak USB devices, PS3 consoles as well as hard-drives were seized during the raid. In addition documentation, fake PS2 games and original PS3 games, believed to be employed as master copies, were also seized.

    Information is received about a man who in Parktown Jailbreak software loaded on consoles and games sold stolen.

    Slashdot at its best.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Give timothy a break, he's mildly retarded.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by gearloos (816828)
        LOL. Timmay!
      • In all fairness, it IS a google-translate story:

        "This rewrites the PS3's internal veiligheidsprotokols. Stolen games than the PS3's hard drive copied. "

        Allers says it is for people who do not take, original games that would pay Jail-break on their consoles loading.

        So, "LOL WUT"s all around.

    • by gman003 (1693318) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @11:44PM (#36993746)

      Well, when it said they confiscated $14,000 worth of stuff, you can easily deduce that he was jailbreaking at an industrial scale, not a personal one. And honestly, raids against people doing that sort of thing is pretty justifiable.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And honestly, raids against people doing that sort of thing is pretty justifiable.

        If you sell me a game that's supposed to be original from the publisher, you've committed fraud. If you sell me a game that I know is pirated, there shouldn't be anything illegal about that, even though it's immoral. Remember, the government exists to prevent crime, not sin.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Sorry, copyright law still exists. To some extent I agree with... I feel like wanting to have a non-pirated copy is enough and an actual copyright law is probably not needed... but it exists.
        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by gman003 (1693318)

          Well, you're working off a set of assumptions I didn't make. For instance, I am of the opinion that piracy performed for a profit should be illegal, while piracy on the individual level should at least be decriminalized, if not legalized.

          Think of it this way. If you're pirating something, why should you be giving money to somebody else, who has done nothing to produce the work? That makes no sense to me.

          • Ahhhh, a bit of common sense. It's like a breath of cool, fresh air, in the middle of this hot muggy summer!

            "Copyright" law was never meant to enrich anyone. It was only meant to ensure that IF anyone made money off of a story, idea, or whatever, then the guy who thought of it FIRST should get a cut.

            Piracy for private use, I'm cool with. Industrial piracy? Burn the bastard.

            Now, if he could demonstrate that he had reached an agreement with the authors, and was submitting a percentage of his sales to the

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Remember, the government exists to prevent crime, not sin.

          I'm a long time pirate. I've pirated probably 100 times the media I've paid for. However, profiteering is where I draw my moral line. It's ambiguous, but whatever. If you can't see how profiting by copying and selling someone else's intellectual property should have legal ramifications, then there's no helping you. You're depraved. You may as well start raping mothers and killing babies. I jest, but only just.

          • by Anonymous Coward
            Agreed, I've pirated quite a large amount of media, but the thing about it is, I still probably buy more legitimate media than the guy who doesn't pirate anything. My steam account has at least 30 - 40 games in it. If there is a good source of digital distribution, I will more than likely get my media from it, but this making things awkward for me by slapping DRM and limited numbers of downloads, clumsy media format or forcing me to install bloatware to be able to make the damn transation. Its about making
            • by metacell (523607)

              And that's the result studies on music and filesharing also come up with: the ones who pirate the most are also the ones who spend the most money buying it.

        • by guttergod (94044)
          Even if we assume you're right in your statement (which incidentally you're not, but you already knew that...) tax evasion is still a crime, and I haven't heard of a single pirate who actually files taxes for that kind of income.
        • Mmmm... profiting from someone else's work is a crime in my eyes. I just wish it would apply to more than just selling material copyrighted by someone else. But I guess, then a lot of wealthy people would be locked behind bars.

      • by pclminion (145572)

        Or, they just took every piece of technology in his home whether it was related to this operation or not. Governments seem to like to just steal people's shit these days, call it "evidence gathering" and then never give it back regardless of legal outcome.

        • by gman003 (1693318)

          True, but do YOU even have $14K in electronics? I don't think I do, unless that ancient Pentium II is a rare collectable model. While it's possible that's the case, it requires an additional set of conditions. Occam's Razor - the simplest explanation is that he was doing it commercially. Later evidence supports that.

          • by zget (2395308)
            $14k is not that much in electronics. I own desktop computer, an expensive laptop, big HDTV, 360/PS3/Wii, mobile phone, lots of old stuff lying around.. And it's even easier if theres several persons living in the apartment or you have a family. It's not that far-fetched. In fact if you'd start a business (which this kind of counts, even if it was illegal one), the costs are usually much higher.
            • by gman003 (1693318)

              Let me calculate mine. Laptop, worth $1200 when I bought it 2 years ago. Wii - $200. Desktop - built from parts, about $600. Spare desktop - salvaged, $100. Most of a desktop - salvaged, $50. Pile of dismantled parts that I'm trying to sell to a metal recycler - $50. 3 TVs, 720p - $400 each. DVD player - $50. DVD/VHS combo player - $50. Old Gamecube - $20. Old GBA SP - $20.

              Yeah, that's only up to $3450. That's not everything, exhaustively, but that's the biggest, most expensive ones. The kinds of things you

              • by JDeane (1402533)

                Yeah but police like to confiscate an ounce of weed and claim it has a street value of a bazillion dollars. So they would probably claim that your electronics are worth at least 10X what they really are worth.

              • by AK Marc (707885)
                What would the list price of the parts in the salvaged desktop be?
                • by gman003 (1693318)

                  Probably pretty low. Athlon 1200, GeForce 2, 512MB of SDR RAM (1x 256MB, 2x 128MB), and a 120GB hard drive.
                  In the other one, there's a Pentium II (300mHz, IIRC), and 256MB SDR RAM. No hard drive, although I could put in the 20GB hard drive I salvaged elsewhere...

          • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

            by AK Marc (707885)
            I do. Between the TV, all the phones (three with a sicker price o $1000 or more), the four laptops, the PC (quite the beast, can record HD OTA, and multiple TB of storage media PC that is also a gaming box, if you list its value as the sum of the retail prices of the parts that make it up, it'd likely be $5k or more) and all the gaming consoles, I'm over $14k. Now I feel like updating my home insurance itemization...

            A "nerd" that doesn't have over $14k in electronics isn't, and thus this "news for nerds"
            • by Anonymous Coward

              I certainly don't have any where near $14000 worth of tech. I have a 2004 computer that sits at my parents place, and a 2006 laptop (updated RAM, HD and battery) that I cart around the world with me.

              If I had $14000 worth of anything, there is no way I could cart it around the world. I've lived in five countries, and moved about 7 times in the last five years. You want to me to keep carting around thousands of dollars worth of tech? The travel insurance alone would bankrupt me!

              Some people could be called ne

              • by AK Marc (707885)
                The last time I moved internationally, the insurance was less than 10% the cost of the move. 10% to protect everything you own isn't that bad, especially if you are having thousands of dollars of electronic gear moving by salty ship. Though most of the small electronics go with you, rather than in the container (phones, laptops, PSP, iPad). Moving internationally is sufficient to bankrupt most people. It's not cheap. Another couple thousand dollars to insure all your worldly posessions isn't a bad prop
                • Oh, so you're making up high numbers to support your argument. That's not very nerdy. But I guess since you have license to define words that won't be a problem for long.

                  • by AK Marc (707885)
                    So you assert what I am doing without any quotes. What did I define that's "made up" and what authority does it not agree with? I didn't make up anything other than my opinion on the popular definition of "nerd." If you don't like it, provide your own, and I'll address my comments to prove you wrong with your own definitions. I'm guessing you were bluffing and you have nothing more to back up your position than "nuh uh" as that's all you've given so far.
            • by Anonymous Coward

              I do. Between the TV, all the phones (three with a sicker price o $1000 or more), the four laptops, the PC (quite the beast, can record HD OTA, and multiple TB of storage media PC that is also a gaming box, if you list its value as the sum of the retail prices of the parts that make it up, it'd likely be $5k or more) and all the gaming consoles, I'm over $14k. Now I feel like updating my home insurance itemization...

              A "nerd" that doesn't have over $14k in electronics isn't, and thus this "news for nerds" site isn't for them...

              Must be nice to have that much money, that you don't even realize that some people cannot afford $14k worth of electronics even if they wanted it.

              I find it rather sad that you think Slashdot is only for people who have 'enough' money to qualify for your definition of a 'nerd'.

              • by AK Marc (707885)
                Lifestyle is about choice. If you pick Big Mac over ramen and a ham radio kit, then you aren't a nerd. A nerd will hoard. A nerd will gather scrap. I had $50,000 in computer equipment gathered from a job with a local megacorp that paid nothing. It was an inventory job where the trash was disposed of into my car (with permisssion). That's how nerds operate. They don't live within their means barely without amassing items of interest. If they do, they aren't nerds. I worked nights for a month as a se
                • by Anonymous Coward
                  You're totally disconnected from reality. You put a physical demand on what it takes to be a nerd and try to justify a lifestyle that is unsatisfactory to numerous nerds. If we took various nouns in your argument and replaced them for something stupid like "shirts" or "sunglasses" and swap nerd for jock then your argument sits the same and looks just as stupid.

                  I'm a nerd, I have been my whole life but you telling me my small laptop environment (All items priced brand new would put me at ~$1700 value) and
                  • by AK Marc (707885)
                    You are arguing that someone could be a "Jock" without owning any sporting goods at all. I think that's silly. How would one be a "jock" if they do not possess the ability to play any sports? And how could they be a jock if they were so uninterested in sports that they own zero sports paraphernalia? I understand that they needn't own $100,000 in home gym equipment to be a jock, but to argue that a $0 owership in anything sports related would qualify one for "jock" directly contradicts the common definit
            • by Aeiri (713218)
              I can't believe someone actually said "if you don't have this much money, you aren't a nerd". A $50 toaster running BSD is enough to disprove that.
          • I've got a plotter ($15k) a copier ($14k) in my home office. Does that count?

          • Depends. Current value or price at the time of purchase?

            Given that the police certainly wanted it to sound like they're arresting some bigshot criminal, I'd guess they simply took the price at the time of purchase. And I'm fairly sure that EVERY geek has electronics that come up to about 14k when you consider the dough they had to drop on the table for it. Let's see what we have here...

            Server: $6100
            Computers: $2200, $2500, $1900
            Laptop: $2300
            Screens: 3x430=1290
            TV: $2100

            And we're already way beyond $14000. Wi

      • And honestly, raids against people doing that sort of thing is pretty justifiable.

        Justifiable? Well, maybe to you.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        How exactly do you justify that?

    • by westlake (615356)

      Ah, such an over sensationalist title and summary again.

      It happens whenever a geek is arrested for a white-collar crime. Apparently, the police are supposed to look the other way.

    • Slashdot at its best.

      You shrug this off, yet what we see here is a case where a country's police are corrupt enough to completely turn a blind eye to infringement of traffic laws, are incapable of controlling basic criminal actions (South Africa has the second highest murder rate per capita, and first highest rape rate), and let things get to the extent that car jacking is so common place that insurance of cars is very expensive.

      Yet they bust a guy for copyright infringement.

      The reality is he just paid them less than the record

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by zget (2395308)

        turn a blind eye to infringement of traffic laws

        For some reason (or maybe because I've lived in Asia, where traffic is chaotic but everyone seems to get by), I think that a guy making huge profit by selling pirated software is a little bit higher on the list than cops spending their time sitting on road.

        And even if you don't, these are different police organizations. Every time when someone pirating something gets arrested there's always someone saying that police should have priorities and should spend time on something else. These are not the same po

        • by thegarbz (1787294)

          I use "Police" in the general case. The overall policing of the country should have different priorities. I use it in the same context as the USA should provide less funding to DHS and more funding to local PDs.

          Also I'm not sure which Asian country you're referring to but there's different levels of traffic infringement. There's your speeders, and then there's your people who show a complete disregard for what a red light means or which side of the road you should be driving on.

          South Africa had double the r

        • by loufoque (1400831)

          Making profit jailbreaking other people's PS3 is not illegal at all, unless Sony has managed to corrupt laws so much that you're not allowed to modify hardware that you own.

          It is indeed very profitable, you just have to find how to do it on the web.

        • by 1u3hr (530656)

          For some reason (or maybe because I've lived in Asia, where traffic is chaotic but everyone seems to get by),

          Where "get by" meaning "get killed". Death rates from road accidents are much, much higher in Asia than Europe or US..

      • You shrug this off, yet what we see here is a case where a country's police are corrupt enough to completely turn a blind eye to infringement of traffic laws, are incapable of controlling basic criminal actions (South Africa has the second highest murder rate per capita, and first highest rape rate), and let things get to the extent that car jacking is so common place that insurance of cars is very expensive.

        Actually, insuring cars here is mostly expensive because 3rd party insurance is not mandatory here, so if you're involved in an accident that is not your fault, your insurance company probably won't get its money back... And the hijacking, but that has a much smaller effect than you'd think.

        • (And additionally, if the police are ignoring traffic infringements, I have yet to see it. The fines can be quite hefty.)

    • by t_ban (875088)

      He was a Pakistani man who was copying and selling those copied games and jailbreaking devices.
      [...]
      Slashdot at its best.

      Your justification includes the fact that he is Pakistani?

      Racism at its worst.

      • by zget (2395308)
        I was just pointing out he wasn't even local. And since when is Pakistan a race?
    • Thank you for that. I thought the summary seemed bizarre - since when do we have laws against jailbreaking, and doesn't SAFACT normally focus on stopping sale of unauthorised duplicates? It's nice to see that things are despite Slashdot headlines things are actually working the way they should.
    • I'll just disregard the less interesting story, and respond to the sensationalist title then. :)

      YOU BUY IT, IT BELONGS TO YOU RIGHT????? Just joking.

    • Imagine the police raiding this and breaking down the door expecting to seize millions in copyrighted material only to find a sole PS3, a computer or two, some DVDs and flash cards. I'm sure the police would be standing there looking at one another asking "Is this for real?".

      That's what happens when private enterprise manipulates lawmakers, the laws, and law enforcement.

  • Sounds like South Africa's crime problem is good and cleared up. Maybe if they can arrest someone from 4chan the place will finally be safer than the more tepid warzones of the world...
    • No fucking shit. Reading this I thought "Wow, South Africa has cops sufficient to start helping some multi-national who buggers with their fucking game console."

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Sounds like South Africa's crime problem is good and cleared up. Maybe if they can arrest someone from 4chan the place will finally be safer than the more tepid warzones of the world...

      FTA:

      The police confiscated goods of around R100 000 (14000 USD).

      Coppers have to eat you know, China, street thugs don't earn that much.

      (probably US$15,000 now with the way the USD is going).

  • by devnullkac (223246) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @11:49PM (#36993768) Homepage

    That's SAFACT, Jack!

  • With any luck, we might look back in 50 years and laugh (or rage) at the idea that corporations thought that information could be controlled and owned, that we threw some of our brightest people in prison to rot for spreading that information, regardless of whether or not the spreading was for profit.

    If people can make money off their ideas, then more power to 'em. But the monopolization of thought is going to cost humanity big time in the long term.
    • by bky1701 (979071)
      Completely agreed. I just posted similar on the last topic about patents - but it is worth saying here as well:

      Eventually we will look back on copyright and patents like we now do on slavery. Slavery, too, was an important part of our economy, which was utterly immoral, and many understood it was wrong. Slavery just happens to have been a LOT worse. However, it will happen to copyright/patents, too. Then we can get on with society without their shackles.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You know, originally when the printing press came out people were getting in trouble for printing the bible. http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/

    • Its safe for me to say that the monopolization of thought occurred a long time ago. The public, statistically at least has had its mind decorated for long enough that almost anything that happens, or any 'new' information that becomes available evokes a predetermined and self destructive response. I think its called disillusionment or demoralization; One or the other. To say that the cost to humanity so far is staggering, is a weapons-grade understatement.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by shentino (1139071)

      In the long run the greedy fucks benefitting from the thought monopoly will have long since laughed all the way to the bank, lived high on the hog, and left a big fat corpse.

      They do not CARE about the long term for humanity.

    • by JockTroll (996521)
      Forget luck. Unless action is taken, in 50 years we will look back and marvel at the idea that there was a time when information was NOT controlled.
      • by turing_m (1030530)

        It seems to be heading that way. OTOH, the sneakernet of 2060 may well consist of transmitting every intellectual work that has existed to date (including video form) on something like a USB stick. (Yes I know, we'll probably hit physical limits before then.)

      • in 50 years we will look back and marvel at the idea that there was a time when information was NOT controlled

        Unfortunately, the information that information was previously NOT controlled is controlled.

        You can't be mad about what you lost if you don't know you ever had it.

    • Question (Score:5, Insightful)

      by msobkow (48369) on Friday August 05, 2011 @04:33AM (#36994798) Homepage Journal

      What has theoretical freedom of ideas have to do with a full-scale commercial piracy operation?

      • Re:Question (Score:4, Insightful)

        by westlake (615356) on Friday August 05, 2011 @06:24AM (#36995116)

        What has theoretical freedom of ideas have to do with a full-scale commercial piracy operation?

        Nothing whatever.

        Which shows how impoverished and fraudulent these cries for "Freedom!" have become.

        P2P is the geek's middle class entitlement. Nothing more. The investment in tech and services required makes that plain. The AAA game demands AAA hardware.

        Playing the pirated HD video on the 60" screen doesn't make you a hero.

        It makes you a thief.

        • by garcia (6573)

          Playing the pirated HD video on the 60" screen doesn't make you a hero.

          It makes you a thief.

          No, it makes you an infringer of copyright (aka 'pirate'). Please stop confusing infringement of copyright with theft as that is exactly what the copyright holders want you to do.

          • by msobkow (48369)

            Watching a video you downloaded for personal use is copyright infringement, but I think selling bootlegs is theft. After all, if you sell bootlegs, you're applying a monetary value and can no longer claim that it has no intrinsic value.

            • by Kalriath (849904)

              Also, the way I see it, by selling it then you're profiting off the people that would have legally purchased the product (in this specific instance, it tanks the "but they wouldn't have bought it anyway" defence) which means that is actually a lost sale, so you actually are stealing the revenue from that sale. Even if they're being sold for less than the retail price, it means that the person did associate a value with that and the producer actually had an opportunity to sell to that person, which was take

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Because if we had the former, we wouldn't have the latter. We'd just have copy shops.

  • Diplomatic Immunity...

  • ...that the South African police are arresting real criminals instead of the murderers and rapists that are normally oppressed by law-enforcement over there.

  • Or PS3 games pirate arrested?

    Luckily I am on MFW 3.55, which isn't jailbroken, just slightly opened up. (Or so at least they tell me on IRC.) That means I am safe, right?

  • Someone stole their copyright?
  • As a South African (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mortimer82 (746766) on Friday August 05, 2011 @06:44AM (#36995172)

    What the person was doing was illegal and deserves to be punished to the full extent of the law, as they were profiting off other people's work by copying it and then selling it.

    However, pirated media *thrives* in a place like South African because luxury goods like imported media is over priced for that economy.

    Although certain aspects of South Africa are 3rd world, all the major cities are pretty much first world, as someone presently living in Ireland, and having lived in France, I can tell you that for the middle class South African, their life style isn't radically different, but any luxury item is significantly more expensive relatively speaking.

    Salaries are based on the price of living, and in South Africa the price of living is considerably less than places like the the US or UK. To put it in perspective, as per 12 months ago (http://www.oanda.com/currency/big-mac-index), the price of a big mac in USD was $2.70 compared to it costing $3.73 is the US. The cost of living is very much like this, most day to day things cost less, consequently, salaries work the same way, you get paid a bit less in terms of USD, because your money goes further, however, anything luxury, is prices in USD and then converted into the local currency.

    So, relatively speaking, for our salaries, we pay a lot more for things like software, music CDs and movies. It's also not just luxury goods, business is also expensive, imagine your copy of Microsoft or Adobe software package always costing ~30% more? Thus it's hardly surprising to see so many people turn to cheaper, but illegal avenues.

    Copyright holders annoy me greatly because even though we have this global distribution medium called the internet which should really make borders disappear to all intents and purposes, you still get youtube blocking videos because "this content is not available in your region due to copyright issues" and Netflix can't be used outside the US, however, despite them locking down copyrighted work to regions, they still keep the price of the these works the same in all countries, regardless of economic differences. They then get surprised at the lack of loyalty from their "customers", however, in South African, they're more like "suckers".

  • "South African Police Service's Commercial Crime Unit"

    You just wait, this special task force will EXIST in the USA soon. Right now they are using the Immigrations and Customs department to do this, but they will soon fund a Commercials Crimes Special Task force to enforce and arrest people that violate the rights of the precious corporations...

  • This is where you see Sony is paying off for information and for police help in this matter.
    A police raid of this nature, followed with all the wire taps necessary to get a warrant to bust in, costs way more then just 14,000$, unless there is major copyright issues or murder, there will be no raids of this size on low end criminals....these are reserved for much bigger fish financially speaking.

    The fact that they went after such a small potato means Sony was probably footing the bill to get this guy arreste

  • That's SAFACT Jack.
  • Thank goodness our comrades in the Soviet South African Republic are protecting us from the terrorists! Hacking the PS3 threatened to cause global economic collapse; and posed a direct, physical danger the the health of all citizens in the republic. I know I, for one, will sleep better tonight.

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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